Thirty-five years ago today I got an unexpected phone call from my cousin. A phone call no one ever wants to get. It left me numb to the core. As news trickled in over the next few days, I felt as if I were adrift at sea on a rudderless, storm-tossed vessel and no one around to hand me a life jacket.
I didn’t know what to believe—or whom to believe.
Could I trust family members to tell me the truth? Could I trust what law enforcement officials were saying? Could I trust anyone, including myself and the horrific thoughts an active imagination conjures up in a time of crisis?
Today I have more clarity, but the picture still remains a bit fuzzy as I continue to wait for a truthful answer as to the fate of my parents, as I continue to wait for my parents to get the justice they deserve.
As many of you know, I have written a memoir about this experience, Dare I Call It Murder? — A Memoir of Violent Loss, and what is now a three-decades-old cold case that the FBI long ago gave up hope on ever prosecuting.
I had planned to release the book today to mark this painful anniversary and reveal previously undisclosed facts about the case. But as I announced last week, I encountered an unanticipated bump in the road, and I am working toward smoothing that out.
Meanwhile, over the ensuing days, I will be writing blogs and posting excerpts from the book on my website to give you a taste of what’s to come, and to give you a glimpse of how the impact of violent death surges outward like a tsunami to test our resiliency to the limit and reveal the true nature of our characters.
I appreciate the support so many of you have given me, and your interest in this story—a story that I wish I did not have to tell, but a story that I believe needs to be told. Not only to lay out the untold story of my parents’ death and correct the errors and misrepresentations that have appeared in previously published works, but to cast light on the broad impact of violent death.
I have written this book not just for myself and its cathartic effect, but for my family and society at large. A cautionary tale? Perhaps. But a tale that addresses what I and others see as broad societal issues related to violent death and the life-long emotional trauma that accompanies it. A trauma that impacts not just individuals but families, friends, and colleagues, and even society at large, and tests the very strength of our social fabric every time a person dies a tragic, violent death.